Diathesis Stress Model

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Bipolar I Disorder and the Diathesis-Stress Model Abnormal Psychology December 5, 2011 Professor James Morley People experience a wide range of emotions throughout ones life; it is simply a part of human nature. Feelings of depression, elevated levels of anxiety, and reckless behavior, are in fact, normal in brief stints, as it would be considerably unhealthy to stifle such emotions. However, in some instances “such moods swings become so prolonged and extreme that the person’s life is seriously disrupted” (Alloy, Manos, Riskind, 2005, p. 246). This is when a disorder becomes categorized as an illness, rather than simply the stresses of everyday life. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that involves both manic and depressive episodes. While mania and depression are two extremely different mood episodes, bipolar disorder unifies both. For an individual diagnosed with bipolar, these moods can occur either at the same time or within a few days or weeks of each other. Although bipolar disorder is typically thought of synonymously with the mood disturbance of an individual, in fact, cognition, motivation, and physical functions are majorly affected as well. For example, during a depressive episode, mental processes are slowed down, and are also constituted by feelings of self-worthlessness and anhedonia, loss of pleasure. When going through a manic episode the individual is experiencing the exact opposite. Their minds are often racing frantically as he or she has inflated feelings of self-esteem. Additionally, the individual overstates his or her self-worth, believing that he is extremely important or powerful (Alloy et al., 2005, p. 248). For this paper, I had interviewed a 24 year old male individual who is diagnosed with bipolar I
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